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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 28 Dec 2010
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Southern Africa. April to July - weather?

I will be shipping my bike to South Africa in April and have until July to cover: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and back to South Africa to ship home. I will be shipping to Cape Town.

My question is about weather. Where should I go when for the best weather? Which way around should I do this trip to avoid rain? Is Namibia "better" in April or June? Are there any countries I should try to avoid during a certain month?

I know I can look at a chart but I thought I'd ask for help as well. Nothing as good as local knowledge.

Thanks

Dom
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Old 28 Dec 2010
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Wild Dog Adventure Riding - Index is also a good place to post your question: big chance of getting local knowledge . Please post your bike shipping experiences here too when you're done.

cheers
Chris
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Old 4 Jan 2011
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eastern side of the country has better weather that time of year. I was there last May and it was perfect. I understand that Western Cape sees rain that time of year.
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Old 5 Jan 2011
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Hi Dom,

Aye, having been in Cape Town last May I can attest that the tip of the country is pretty stormy that time of the year with plenty of rain. The weather forecasts for the eastern side always seemed to look more appealing with clear skies.

As for Namibia, it's generally a pretty arid place so it was warm-ish and clear. April is warmer than June, but temps aren't really a deciding factor. If you can trying to avoid the worst of the wet season in the Caprivi, then it will be less flooded. Of course I can't remember when that exactly would be Ride safe.
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Old 5 Jan 2011
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Lesotho and Swaziland

Hi Dom,

We were in that neck of the woods in April, May and June three years ago. The weather at that time was mostly terrific. The exception was Lesotho which had snow on the Sani Pass both times we tried it. On the plus side, Lesotho and Swaziland were both terrific countries to visit and would recommend including them in your itinerary.

Have fun!
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Old 5 Jan 2011
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Thanks for the info people. Ekke, I've only just realised who you are (I met you in Canada right?) I meant to ask you, after your presentation, what time of year you were in Southern Africa. Thanks for the reply.

It seems my best best is: April Western South Africa up to Namibia. MAy head towards Bots/ zim/Zambia. MAy Malawai. Then june back to the rain and storms of Cape Town to ship back to UK.

All academic at the moment as my bike is sat in Costa Rica waiting for a new battery which should arrive manana....
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Old 5 Jan 2011
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Hi Dom,
Are you flying the bike out of Argentina to South Africa as we are planning on doing the same around the same time as well.
Daryll
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Old 5 Jan 2011
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Daryll

No I'm shipping from Panama. Hopefully later this month for an arrival in April. But i do hope to catch up with you two in Southern Africa somewhere. I've been following your blog and heeding your advcie as I moved down central America. We've not met but I've met people who you've travelled with I think. Anyway, enjoy south America and see you in Africa!
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Old 6 Jan 2011
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For sure, let's stay in touch. We plan on flying into Jhb. and then riding the coast to Cape Town before heading north again.
Daryll
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Old 6 Jan 2011
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@George,
those months are great for southern Africa, although in June it might be crisp at night when travelling through the central highveld (Johannesburg down to Colesburg). he Natal coast is fine in winter. So why return to Cape Town and not ship the bike from Durban instead? Cape Town does have fine days in winter, but often rain and strong winds.

@Daryll,
my suggestion would be not to travel down to Cape Town all the way along the coast. It gets boring after a while... A great trip would be to ake the bee-line to northern Lesotho, enter somewhere near Oxbow, take the road to Mokhotlong and further to the Sani Pass. Then head north-east to St. Lucia, ride along the coast right up to Coffee Bay in the Transkei. If possible don't take the N2, rather take the side roads.
From Coffee Bay pay a visit to the Addo Elephant Park, after that travel through Baviaans Kloof. Beautiful off-road, brilliant landscape.
Further west is the Swartberg mountain range and the Swartberg Pass, take the Route 62.
These are a few alternatives to the rather boring Garden Route.
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Old 7 Jan 2011
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Thanks for that. I haven't really put much thought into where I'm shipping home from but perhaps you are right and Durban would be better. Thanks
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Old 8 Jan 2011
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Vaufi,
Great suggestions, thanks.
Daryll
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